Movie Awards

LAMB Devours the Oscars 2021: Best Actor in a Leading Role

This year’s awards season is just going on forever, isn’t it? Roll on a bit of movie normality, I say! Last year I wrote a small piece for The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Bloggers) about the Best Lead Actor category at the Oscars, and I was thrilled when Rob got in touch to say that category was still free this year! 2021 is such an incredible year for the Lead Actors. Firstly, the diversity! We love to see it. Secondly, the combined talent of these 5 men is astronomical! Let’s break it down, shall we?

Gary Oldman – Mank

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Now, I might not be a professional critic but I like to make an effort to at least know what I’m talking about. I have to be honest, I find nothing appealing about Mank at all but I’m watching it as I write this in order to give a biased opinion. Gary Oldman is an actor who always gives 100% but if the noise on social media is anything to go by, he’s not in the running to win this year.

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

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The Father was my most recent watch and I think my heart is still hurting from it. My full review will be posted next week but wow, all I can say is believe the hype! Anthony Hopkins plays a character suffering from dementia and struggling to understand what is real and it’s so incridibly easy to sympathise with him. His final scene is his stand-out moment and he played it so well it’s a scene I don’t think I can ever bring myself to watch again.

Steven Yeun – Minari

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Argh, 2020 might have been a bit disappointing for movies generally, but we sure got a handful of gems from it, didn’t we? I didn’t expect Minari to capture my heart in the way that it did, and although that’s largely thanks to Supporting Actress Yuh-Jung Youn, I can’t ignore Steven Yeun. He plays a father desperately trying to create a better life for his family and whilst it’s a quiet and nuanced role, it can’t be ignored.

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

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Can I get a YAAAAAAS for Riz Ahmed? Sound of Metal is growing on me every day that I think about it. I didn’t rave about it after I first watched it but Riz blew me away. Ever since Nightcrawler (2014) I knew he was destined for greatness, and here we are! As much as I would love for him to take the Oscar I don’t think he will – but he stands a decent chance at the BAFTA this weekend I reckon,

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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Whenever I think about Chadwick or Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom I hope that his passing was a bad dream. He was taken away so, so early and right at the height of his acting career. Before I’d seen his performance as Levee, the dark cynic in me had to wonder if there was a certain level of sympathy behind his nomination, but after watching the movie twice I can say without a shadow of a doubt that isn’t the case. Chadwick absolutely owns this movie and I would argue it’s more Levee’s story than Ma Rainey’s. I don’t think it’s set in stone, but I do think that he’ll win.

Movie Reviews

Review: Darkest Hour (2018)

darkest-hour-movie-review-2018Every year when it comes to Awards Season, there’s always that one movie that I just can’t bring myself to watch. I’ll groan at the very thought of it, but I really try to watch at least the nominated Best Picture movies. Boyhood is the exception. I still can’t face that. Anyway, this year’s movie for me is Darkest Hour. I’d honestly rather watch the terrible alien/sci-fi movie by almost the same name, but I know if I save it till last I’ll never watch it at all, so I sucked it up!

I don’t do history, I don’t do war and I most certainly don’t do politics, and Darkest Hour is all of these. It is essentially a retelling of Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister of the UK in the middle of World War II, making the impossible decision whether to make terms with Hitler or fight to the bitter end.

Honestly, this movie just wasn’t for me. I loved Dunkirk (2017) because despite it being a war movie, it showed purely the action side of things. I mean, at least this was a more fun way of learning about World War II than sitting in my actual history lessons back in school? I’ll give it this though, Gary Oldman as Churchill is nothing short of amazing. He is completely unrecognisable, and brought so much life to the role.

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Speaking of which, shout out to Ben Mendelsohn! He’s such a chameleon, that’s why I love him. I’ve seen him play a space nazi, a down on his luck gambling addict and now a British king, and every role seems to come so naturally to him. I’m so looking forward to seeing him in Ready Player One later this year!

So seeings as I’m going to really struggle to talk about this one, let me tell you the character I identified the most with, Elizabeth Layton, played by Lily James. Poor girl is a typist for the grumpiest bloke ever, and it’s not easy when he’s changing his mind on words and shouting! It reminded me of my first boss who I did a lot of admin for. He’d stand right behind me and dictate what he wanted me to type, which is incredibly difficult for a nervous dyslexic like me! Even the best of us can’t type with someone breathing down their neck.

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I can appreciate Darkest Hour for it’s performances, and I’m sure it’ll do well at the BAFTAs next month. It’s just really not my cup of tea. I know it’s a well made, well acted movie, but I rate my reviews on a mix of that and also how much I enjoyed it, and so that’s why this gets 3 out of 5 ‘V for Victory’ signs from me.

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